14 mars 2009

41. Kathleen in the skies

The emotions of the last few days have left me psychologically disturbed and physically exhausted. I have an urge of getting out of here and flirting with Mother Nature. At once, I go to «Google Maps» and discover a blue spot not too far from Antigua: Lago de Amatitlan. Perfect! My family tells me that I can be there in less than an hour with my motobike.

A little earlier, I ran into another very disturbed person: Kathleen. A few hours ago, she received the news that she was rejected from her favorite Art College she applied to in the United States: high hopes, great deceptions. And since there is nothing like a person that feels shittier than you to improve your mood, I offered her the back seat of my moto.

So, two and a half hours later, we get there. Damn Guatemalan roads! You can get lost even with a GPS. We stop by the lake and sit down to enjoy the view...of the most polluted lake I have ever seen. The water is as green a the Springfield River in the Simpsons. It almost glows at night! So much for my swimming suite... There is NO way I am touching this radioactive water. And a few meters away, some indigenous man is fishing...

Next to us a handful of local kids are smiling and laughing. One of them dared to approach us. He asks if we can take a photo of him and his 3 friends. To my surprise, they are not asking for any money in return. So, I gladly obey: they are on fire and jumping everywhere. Look at this great photo of them! The shot taken, they all stare at me, waiting. I stand puzzled. What??? The gutsiest asks me: Where is the photo? I remain stunned for a millisecond, then Kathleen and I start laughing like hell! We laughed so much, the echo of our laughter was most probably heard across the lake. Believe it or not, I had to explain to them the entire concept of digital cameras.

Moments later, a man walks by us and initiates a very sympathetic conversation with us. He tells us all about the village, the lake, the pollution, the people and the history of the this place. He also happens to own the little family restaurant behind us. Both charmed and empty-stomached, how could we refuse such a nice invitation? The meal of the day is fish: Tilapia. From this lake?!?!?, I ask. He swore to me that it came from the Pacific. I briefly peeked into his soul through his eyes and smile, then gave him my trust. I tell ya...the fist bite sent my mouth to paradise. Yummy! He introduces us to his lovely wife and 12-year old daughter. They are as adorable as Sergio!

He offers us to guide us up the mountain where the view is supposedly breathtaking. And on top, there is a chairlift that will bring us back here. When is the kindness of this man is ever going to run out? Sergio, you rock! I look at Kathleen, dying to go. Vamos! The climb is quite a challenge. The mountain is dangerously steep and Sergio is almost running. My pumping heart is following, but a kilometer behind me. We finally take a break in front of a tree filled with gorgeous bright yellow flowers. He picks up a few and offers them to Kath, with the shiniest smile on earth. This day trip gets better by the minute.

Once on top, exhausted, we run into a locked gate: SHIT! The chairlift is surrounded by a large fence newly constructed. Sergio is embarrassed. We scream a few “Hola!”, and a guard finally shows up. He refuses systematically to let us in. He keeps saying that the rules are the rules and they can't be broken. Sergio tries to talk, reason, schmooze and even bribe him, but nothing works. He stays as stubborn as a mule. I then quietly ask Kathleen to “fake” a twisted ankle (she only had blisters). After one hour of intense negotiations and many phone calls to his superiors, he FINALLY let us in. Yeah baby!

The ride down was awesome. Have I told you I hated heights??? But what a spectacular view. The sundown is stunning... SHIT!... The sundown!!! I can't drive at night! With the longer than expected 1000-meter hike and all this negotiating crap, time flew too quickly. Shoot!

Back on the ground, we ask Sergio for a cheap trustworthy hotel nearby. A few moments later, we have an “ok” room with basic furniture and without hot water. That will do. I am full of dust and sweat and I am dying for a shower. A few minutes later, we crash...but we can't sleep: in front of the hotel, a bar plays loud music until 3:00 am... then drunk people puking... then a water pomp outside our window... then the early birds signing... then a rooster... then the morning and checkout time came. No!!! Grrrrrrr! Total sleep time: barely 40 minutes.

But looking at the bright sunshine coming through the window, I can't help thinking of the day I just spent here. I smile and wonder what other great surprise this next one has in mind for me...

P.S.: Ai-je bien écrit ce texte en anglais?!? Vivement les exceptions!

P.P.S: Si ce blog vous a été référé par une tierce personne, j'aimerais bien avoir votre adresse email pour vous tenir au courrant. Vous pouvez me contacter à hkougiou arobas hotmail point com. :)

5 commentaires:

Anonyme a dit…

Pas vraiment (en anglais). Juste les mots.

Oncle Mononcle

Anonyme a dit…

Que maravillosa vista! Harry, prefiero el frances, me parece que eres mas alegre y divertido en frances! :p Pero, cuando escribiras en espanol para nosotros? :)


Anonyme a dit…

Wow ! Je suis impressionnée par ta plume anglaise... Je savais pas que le poisson radio-actif pouvait avoir si bon goût... reviens-nous pas avec un bras dans le front !


Anonyme a dit…

Une jolie amériacine bouclée c'est toujours un bon prétexte pour écrire en anglais... va, on te pardonne... MAIS ne recommence plus !!

Jamie Waller a dit…

Excelente amigo... Necesitates algo para silencio. Traiga so ipod y escucha algo aburrido para dormir cuando hay mucho ruido.
Que adventura... ano pasado fui a Puerto Barrio. Muy interesante...


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